Resource-Everything available in our environment which can be used to satisfy our needs, provided, it is technologically accessible, economically feasible and culturally acceptable.
Resources can be classified in the following ways –
- Based on origin – biotic and abiotic
- Based on exhaustibility – renewable and non-renewable
- Based on ownership – individual, community, national and international
- Based on status of development – potential, developed stock and reserves.
Based on Origin
- Biotic Resources: These are obtained from biosphere and have life such as human beings, flora and fauna, fisheries, livestock etc.
- Abiotic Resources: All those things which are composed of non-living things are called abiotic resources. For example, rocks and metals.
Based on Exhaustibility
- Renewable Resources: The resources which can be renewed or reproduced by physical, chemical or mechanical processes are known as renewable or replenish-able For example, solar and wind energy, water, forests and wildlife, etc. The renewable resource may further be divided into continuous or flow.
- Non-Renewable Resources: These occur over a very long geological time. Minerals and fossil fuels are examples of such resources. These resources take millions of years in their formation. Some of the resources like metals are recyclable and some like fossil fuels cannot be recycled and get exhausted with their use.
Based on Ownership
- Individual Resources: These are also owned privately by individuals. Many farmers own land which is allotted to them by government against the payment of revenue. Plantation, pasture lands, ponds, water in wells etc. are some of the examples of resources ownership by individual.
- Community Owned Resources: There are resources which are accessible to all the members of the community. Village commons (grazing grounds, burial grounds, village ponds, etc.) public parks, picnic spots, playgrounds in urban areas are de facto accessible to all the people living there.
- National Resources: Technically, all the resources belong to the nation. The country has legal powers to acquire even private property for public good. You might have seen roads, canals, railways being constructed on fields owned by some individuals. All the minerals, water resources, forests, wildlife, land within the political boundaries and oceanic area up to 12 nautical miles (22.2 km) from the coast termed as territorial water and resources therein belong to the nation.
- International Resources: The oceanic resources beyond 200 nautical miles of the Exclusive Economic Zone belong to open ocean and no individual country can utilize these without the concurrence of international institutions.
Based on the Status of Development
- Potential Resources: Resources which are found in a region, but have not been utilized. For example, the western parts of India particularly Rajasthan and Gujarat have enormous potential for the development of wind and solar energy, but so far these have not been developed properly.
- Developed Resources: Resources which are surveyed, and their quality and quantity have been determined for utilization. The development of resources depends on technology and level of their feasibility.
- Stock: Materials in the environment which have the potential to satisfy human needs, but human beings do not have the appropriate technology to access these, are included among For example, water is a compound of two inflammable gases; hydrogen and oxygen, which can be used as a rich source of energy. But we do not have the required technology.
- Reserves: are the subset of the stock, which can be put into use with the help of existing technical ‘know-how’ but their use has not been started. These can be used for meeting future requirements. River water can be used for generating hydroelectric power but presently, it is being utilized only to a limited extent. Thus, the water in the dams, forests etc. is a reserve which can be used in the future.
Human beings used resources indiscriminately and this has led to the following major problems: –
- Depletion of resources for satisfying the greed of few individuals.
- Accumulation of resources in few hands, which, in turn, divided the society into two segments i.e. Rich and poor.
- Indiscriminate exploitation of resources has led to global ecological crises such as, global warming, ozone layer depletion, environmental pollution and land degradation.
An equitable distribution of resources has become essential for a sustained quality of life and global peace. If the present trend of resource depletion by a few individuals and countries continues, the future of our planet is in danger. Therefore, resource planning is essential for sustainable existence of all forms of life. Sustainable existence is a component of sustainable development.
Sustainable economic development means ‘development should take place without damaging the environment, and development in the present should not compromise with the needs of the future generations.’
Resource Planning in India
Resource planning is a complex process which involves:
(i) identification and inventory of resources across the regions of the country.
(ii) Evolving a planning structure endowed with appropriate technology, skill and institutional set up for implementing resource development plans.
(iii) Matching the resource development plans with overall national development plans.
Land resources are used for the following purposes:
- Land not available for cultivation
- Barren and waste land
- Land put to non-agricultural uses, e.g. buildings, roads, factories, etc.
- Other uncultivated land
- Permanent pastures and grazing land,
- Land under miscellaneous tree crops groves (not included in net sown area),
- Culturable waste land
- Fallow lands
- Current fallow- (left without cultivation for one or less than one agricultural year),
- Other than current fallow-(left uncultivated for the past 1 to 5 agricultural years).
- Net sown area sown more than once in an agricultural year plus net sown area is known as gross cropped area.
The use of land is determined both by physical factors such as topography, climate, soil types as well as human factors such as population density, technological capability and culture and traditions etc. Total geographical area of India is 3.28 million sq. km.
LAND DEGRADATION AND CONSERVATION MEASURES
- Afforestation and proper management of grazing can help to some extent.
- Planting of shelter belts of plants, control on over grazing, stabilization of sand dunes by growing thorny bushes are some of the methods to check land degradation.
- Proper management of waste lands, control of mining activities, proper discharge and disposal of industrial effluents and wastes after treatment can reduce land and water degradation in industrial and suburban areas.
SOIL AS A RESOURCE
Relief, parent rock or bed rock, climate, vegetation and other forms of life and time are important factors in the formation of soil. Various forces of nature such as change in temperature, actions of running water, wind and glaciers, activities of decomposers etc. contribute to the formation of soil. Chemical and organic changes which take place in the soil are equally important. Soil also consists of organic (humus) and inorganic materials.
Classification of Soils
- The entire northern plains are made of alluvial soil. These have been deposited by three important Himalayan river systems– the Indus, the Ganga and the Brahmaputra. These soils also extend in Rajasthan and Gujarat through a narrow corridor. Alluvial soil is also found in the eastern coastal plains particularly in the deltas of the Mahanadi, the Godavari, the Krishna and the Kaveri rivers.
- The alluvial soil consists of various proportions of sand, silt and clay. As we move inlands towards the river valleys, soil particles appear somewhat bigger in size. In the upper reaches of the river valley i.e. near the place of the break of slope, the soils are coarse.
- Such soils are more common in piedmont plains such as Duars, Chos and Terai.
- According to their age alluvial soils can be classified as old alluvial (Bangar) and new alluvial (Khadar). The bangar soil has higher concentration of kanker nodules than the Khadar. It has more fine particles and is more fertile than the bangar.
- Mostly these soils contain adequate proportion of potash, phosphoric acid and lime which are ideal for the growth of sugarcane, paddy, wheat and other cereal and pulse crops. Due to its high fertility, regions of alluvial soils are intensively cultivated and densely populated.
- These soils are black in color and are also known as regur Black soil is ideal for growing cotton and is also known as black cotton soil.
- Climatic condition along with the parent rock material are the important factors for the formation of black soil. This type of soil is typical of the Deccan trap (Basalt) region spread over northwest Deccan plateau and is made up of lava flows. They cover the plateaus of Maharashtra, Saurashtra, Malwa, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh and extend in the south-east direction along the Godavari and the Krishna valleys.
- The black soils are made up of extremely fine i.e. clayey material. They are well-known for their capacity to hold moisture.
They are rich in soil nutrients, such as calcium carbonate, magnesium, potash and lime. These soils are generally poor in phosphoric contents. They develop deep cracks during hot weather, which helps in the proper aeration of the soil.
- Red soil develops on crystalline igneous rocks in areas of low rainfall in the eastern and southern parts of the Deccan plateau.
- Yellow and red soils are also found in parts of Odisha, Chhattisgarh, southern parts of the middle Ganga plain and along the piedmont zone of the Western Ghats.
- These soils develop a reddish color due to diffusion of iron in crystalline and metamorphic rocks. It looks yellow when it occurs in a hydrated form.
- The laterite soil develops in areas with high temperature and heavy rainfall. This is the result of intense leaching due to heavy rain.
- Humus content of the soil is low because most of the microorganisms, particularly the decomposers, like bacteria, get destroyed due to high temperature.
- Laterite soils are suitable for cultivation with adequate doses of manures and fertilizers.
- These soils are mainly found in Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Madhya Pradesh, and the hilly areas of Odisha and Assam.
- This soil is very useful for growing tea and coffee. Red laterite soils in Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Kerala are more suitable for crops like cashew nut.
- Arid soils range from red to brown in color. They are generally sandy in texture and saline in nature.
- The salt content is very high and common salt is obtained by evaporating the water. Due to the dry climate, high temperature, evaporation is faster, and the soil lacks humus and moisture.
- The lower horizons of the soil are occupied by Kankar because of the increasing calcium content downwards.
- The Kankar layer formations in the bottom horizons restrict the infiltration of water.
- They are loamy and silty in valley sides and coarse grained in the upper slopes. In the snow-covered areas of Himalayas, these soils experience denudation and are acidic with low humus content.
Soil Erosion–The denudation of the soil cover and subsequent washing down.
- The running water cuts through the clayey soils and makes deep channels as gullies. The land becomes unfit for cultivation and is known as bad land. In the Chambal basin such lands are called ravines.
- Sometimes water flows as a sheet over large areas down a slope. In such cases the top soil is washed away. This is known as sheet erosion.
- Ploughing along the contour lines can decelerate the flow of water down the slopes. This is called contour ploughing. Steps can be cut out on the slopes making terraces. Terrace cultivation restricts erosion.
- Strips of grass are left to grow between the crops. This breaks up the force of the wind. This method is known as strip cropping.